Postcards from Kannus, Finland

Postcards from Kannus, Finland

Alighting from the Helsinki to Oulu bound train at Kannus, I arrived at my base for most of my stay in Finland. This sleepy Finnish town can be found in the Central Ostrobothnia region, 510 km north of Helsinki (a 4 hour 35 minute train ride) and 42 km east of Kokkola.

Kannuksen rautatieasema - Kannus Railway Station
Kannuksen rautatieasema – Kannus Railway Station

Finland as a whole is much quieter and very much less populated than the UK. It’s a refreshing change, and this is coming from someone who lives in rural Wales! While out and about, we did see a few people out walking, running, cycling and even a guy on roller skis (I guess he was keeping in practice for the winter months).

Kannuksen Kirkko - Kannus Church
Kannuksen Kirkko – Kannus Church

Kannuksen Kirkko (Kannus Church) is the focal point of the town. Stood slightly elevated, the current wooden church dates from 1817. It survived the Kannus fire of 1934 despite a large part of the parish being razed to the ground. The building it replaced was not so lucky as the previous church burned down in 1813 after being hit by lightning!

A typical Finnish house.
A house in Kannus.

A short walk from the church is Kannuksen Hautausmaa (Kannus Cemetery). It was interesting to see how different the gravestones and memorials are compared to here in the UK. They range from simple wooden crosses to huge gravestones. What intrigued me the most wasn’t the gravestones themselves but the dates on them. I’ve never seen dates written like that before.

A cross marking a grave.
A cross marking a grave in the cemetery.
An old gravestone.
An old gravestone.
A memorial dedicated to the victims of the 1867 - 1868 famine.
A memorial dedicated to the victims of the 1867 – 1868 famine.

In the cemetery stands a large rock with a plaque dedicated to the victims of the 1867 – 1868 famine. The inscription reads:

“In memory of the people of Kannus from the Great Famine Years of 1867-1868.
(Placed on behalf of) Descendents.
1 Moses 47:13”

Buildings at Mäkiraonmäki museokeskus.
Buildings at Mäkiraonmäki museokeskus.

Kannus also has a museum – Mäkiraonmäki museokeskus. The buildings of the museum and culture centre are important to the area, both culturally and historically. Most of the buildings are in their original place, but a couple, such as the windmill and the Workers’ Hall (originally a dyer’s hut) have been moved from elsewhere. We didn’t go inside any of the buildings during our visit there as we visited in the evening so they weren’t open.

A typical Finnish building at the museum in Kannus, Finland.
Mäkiraonmäki: A typical central lowland house, built in the 19th century.
Mäkiraonmäki: A windmill.
Mäkiraonmäki: A windmill.
A door handle at Mäkiraonmäki.
A door handle at Mäkiraonmäki.

Following the River Lestijoki north-west, just a few kilometres outside of Kannus, are the river rapids at Niskankoski. It’s a beautiful, peaceful spot, just off the road, with an accessible pier for fishing, as well as a campfire place and outhouse toilet. I could have sat there all day listening to the river babbling by.

Niskankoski on the River Lestijoki.
Niskankoski on the River Lestijoki.
A river running through Finland.
Niskankoski rapids on the river Lestijoki near Kannus, Finland.

It was great to catch up with my friend and visit a part of the world I’d never been to before. I can’t wait to return!


  1. Great photos! I love the old windmill, very impressive. The door handle and all its details looks beautiful with the faded wood behind it. The last two photos are absolutely beautiful. What a wonderful place to visit.

  2. Kelly says:

    All the wooden structures are lovely and, wow, what a windmill!! The cemetery looks interesting. I like the lichens growing on the headstone, though I’m sure they’re not doing it any good.

  3. Kris P says:

    Beautiful scenery and interesting buildings, Nikki. I was surprised to see the windmill, although why I’d expect those to be limited to the Netherlands, I don’t know!

  4. Ginnie Hart says:

    Even though I spent only a day or two in Finland while on our Baltic Cruise, Nikki, I can remember from your images what the architecture was like…and the colors. But I don’t recall ever seeing a windmill like that!

  5. I love how much wood there is in everything – windmill and houses. I read recently that wood cladding helps insulation, so keeping houses warmer in Winter and cooler in Summer – maybe we should take notes from Finland!

  6. Astrid says:

    I am impressed with your photography on Finnland. I have never been there but have been in Norway, the houses have the same colour. That windmill is something else. That door handle is a treasure to find. (I am the wife of Ginnie and a friend of Alan both Shutterchance)

  7. Marty says:

    Good lord, the size of that windmill! I agree, the dates on the gravestones are really interesting and unique looking. Finland looks so intriguing. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Anca says:

    The pictures and the stories relating to these places are so interesting. I love the feel of the place, it looks so beautiful and peaceful.

  9. Ann says:

    How utterly beautiful Finland is, Nikki, it looks like a totally different world! That windmill is looking particularly magical! xxx

  10. Yvonne (@Fiction_Books) says:

    I love the wooden buildings, especially the church and that amazing windmill. Did you manage to get a look in either of them, or is there not the same ‘open door’ policy as here in the UK?

    I too, love the sound of running water and in the absence of a coastline where I can hear the waves crashing on the shore or rocks, a peaceful riverside will do every bit as well.

    Your pictures really do set the scene for us ‘armchair travellers’ 🙂

    • Nikki says:

      We didn’t go inside any of the buildings during our visit to the museum as we visited in the evening so they weren’t open. I seem to recall there also being a sign not to climb the steps into the windmill.

      We had the dog with us when we walked around the church, so didn’t go in. I believe it’s open during daylight hours during the summer, but I could be wrong.

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